Some black tears under his eyes and a T-shirt, also black, with two slogans printed on it: On the front, “There is no peace without freedom,” and on the back, “Blockaded inside – Blockaded outside. Until when?”
He came alone to the Plaza on Sunday and for seconds was one more. “I went to see my concert,” he told me a little embarrassed when I asked him why he hadn’t called me. As performance has formed a part of his daily life for more than ten years now, he again decided to wear his art.
They bundled him into a patrol car, with the inevitable neck injury due to their brutality. Several police stations, always through the back door – the one for those who haven’t committed an crimes but go in all the same. Several interrogation sessions with absurd questions that know nothing of moderate positions: the National Revolutionary Police is at the heart of the battle, on RED alert against the invisible enemy which is potentially every citizen who inhabits this island.
Luis Eligio had the courage to reach the Plaza wih the sign we all carry inside imprinted on his clothes. He had the courage to accept his decision, freely made based only on his own conscience. And in addition he had the immense power to see himself as a unique and independent citizen, responsible for his ideas and his work. However, he also had the great good fortune to not feel the brute force of the repressive bodies unleashing all their fury on his skin, and that is something that certainly I also want to avoid. Please Eligio, the next time call us, at the least because we believe that if there are more of us we can protect you.
This is an excerpt to a version of the song, Epitaph for Vladimir Visotski by Karsmarski Jacek (Polish dissident songwriter), which includes Ciro Diaz in his latest album, The Blue Slug, that I listened to compulsively for at least two months, especially on the street with my mp3 inherited from a friend who now has an I-pod. (Download the lyrics here) (Download the recording and album cover here) The song (in summary, which runs about ten minutes) is about a desperate artist going through the circles of hell in search of an answer or death, and at the end of his journey there is only loneliness and the weight of the supreme power above himself. So I found myself at times catching the bus across Havana at 12 noon in August under the perennial sunshine and with the distressing feeling of not going anywhere, or arriving too late, or going for pleasure ... I feel that I have already arrived at the eighth enclosure (this is the finale of the song) where there is nothing, and I feel useless and empty, and I look at people without faith who walk along the street and who have so much fear that they no longer know they're afraid, and who have seen so many Roundtables and so many news broadcasts that they no longer know what belongs to reality or just to the TV screen. They cannot discern that they no longer believe, but cannot disbelieve either, and just move along past me not going anywhere.